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Latino Heritage Celebration unites community for Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: Latino heritage celebration unites community

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis celebrated Sunday the melting pot of Hispanic people who contribute to our community.

There are Hispanic people from all walks of life who want to share their culture and traditions with everyone, and events like the Latino Heritage Celebration highlight this important work.

“12 years ago, you wouldn’t be able to see this as rich as it is right now,” said Hector Morales, Indianapolis resident.

From traditional dancing and colorful clothing to carefully crafted artwork and flavorful food, the 3rd Annual Latino Heritage Celebration was turning heads.

The Director of the Mayor’s Office of International and Latino Affairs, Ruth Morales, said, “Every year, it’s gotten bigger and bigger, and bigger, and we’re just so excited to be here at Holliday Park. I mean it’s such a gemstone in Indianapolis, and this gemstone is for everyone.”

On Sunday, city officials and the Society of Friends of Colombia brought together hundreds of people to honor Hispanic Heritage Month surrounded by the ruins at Holliday Park.

“We have to learn from each other because we are stronger together, and I feel like that’s what diversity, inclusion, and equity is. We’re all here together in this city. So many people, you know, they can choose any other U.S. city, but they’ve chosen Indianapolis,” Ruth said.

Melissa and Carlos Lizarazu are siblings. Both are passionate about sharing their Bolivian culture through dance.

They say that while they’re smaller in number, they feel it’s important to celebrate their roots with everyone.

“I’m very proud to be here representing my country. I know that there are not a lot of Bolivians in Indiana, so it’s like very proud for me to wear these colors. We chose the colors because they represent the flag of my country,” Carlos said.

Melissa said, “Last year, we were dancing Zapateo Potosino, and Zapateo Potosino represents the occident of Bolivia, and it’s cold weather. This time we’re bringing warm weather, so it’s a dance from the south of Bolivia.”

Mexican culture is also shared through its colorful displays and artwork.

The President of the Querétaro Sister City Committee in Indianapolis, Ana Santiago, said, “My parents always made sure that the Mexican culture was in me at all times, so any moment that we have the opportunity to showcase that background, we definitely take it.”

City officials say they are looking to grow these festivities next year.